Cheatley happy with team ahead of world champs
BikeNZ head coach Dayle Cheatley does not have a medal figure in mind, but he is happy with the momentum gained ahead of the world championships in Colombia.
An 11-strong New Zealand team has been named for the February 26 to March 2 championships in Cali, with Cameron Karwowski the only casualty from the initial training squad named.
"[There's] no medal number in mind, it's a matter of following through the process that we always do, and if a medal comes out of that, we'll take it," Cheatley said.
"It's about execution rather than going in with medals in mind, putting into practice on race day what we normally do. I think we've built throughout the World Cup season and definitely over the last couple of weeks when we've been in a structured camp riders seem to be getting quicker and quicker and executing their rides quite well."
Karwowski's non-selection had been a difficult decision, Cheatley said.
"Cam really put his hand up at that third World Cup, which then got him selected into the training camp. Cam is very unlucky to have missed out on that final selection, but he's also very happy with where he's progressed this season from last season. He's still definitely going to be in the hunt for Commonwealth Games selection and he knows that."
Southland boasts four riders in the team, with Tom Scully and Pieter Bulling both making impressive progress this season.
Scully has made enormous strides since elbowing his way back into the track programme with impressive performances at the Oceania championships in Invercargill late last year.
He won the madison with Patrick Bevin and was second in the points race in the final round of the World Cup.
Cheatley said Bulling's development had been outstanding.
"Piet's fitted in really well and it's the same with Dylan Kennett. They've committed themselves 100 per cent towards the teams pursuit and have tried to cement themselves into a couple of key positions there. You can't fault guys like that. They are now sub-four minute riders, they've joined that club, and they've done it multiple times. For them to do that in one season, shows the class they have."
Aaron Gate won the omnium at last year's world championships, Invercargill's Eddie Dawkins is the fifth ranked sprinter in the world and the leading sprinter from the World Cup series.
The endurance group is ranked eighth in the team pursuit and madison, Scully is ranked eighth in the points race, and Dylan Kennett fifth in the scratch.
Those riders not selected for the world championships, including the women's endurance and sprint riders, will focus on the national championships being staged at the Cambridge velodrome from March 13 to 16.
The Commonwealth Games team will be named shortly after the national championships.
The Southland Times